From The March of Dimes –
On Sunday, May 6, thousands from the Greater Hartford area will gather for March for Babies at East Hartford’s Rentschler Field to benefit the March of Dimes.
Leading the festivities will be Aaron and April Boccasile of Suffield, along with their children Max, Isabella and Ava, who will serve as the 2012 Greater Hartford March for Babies Ambassador family. The Boccasiles will share their family’s personal experience with premature birth and thank walkers for their commitment to the March of Dimes mission to give all babies a healthy start.
The Boccasiles know the importance of the March of Dimes mission to prevent prematurity firsthand, having delivered their oldest daughter, Isabella, 14 weeks early. She weighed just 1 pound 12 ounces. She spent four months in neonatal intensive care at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford. Last March their daughter Lily was also born too soon but was too early to survive. In tribute to their daughter Lily, April has also launched a blog, Lily’s Amazing Grace, to support parents after a loss.
“With both girls, I had premature rupture of the membranes,” April Boccasile said. “With Isabella we went into the NICU totally blind-sided, we had never met anyone that had a premature baby. We took things day-by-day just praying that she would survive her preterm birth. Today, she is healthy and strong. She fought the fight of her life and she won and nothing is going to get in the way of anything she wants to accomplish.”
“We learned about the work of the March of Dimes while in the NICU, and we credit surfactant, a therapy developed with March of Dimes funding, for helping to save Isabella’s life. It helped mature and strengthen her lungs,” April Boccasile continued. “There is nothing more important to our family than to give back. Our mission is to raise awareness about preterm birth and infant death by educating others that it can be prevented and has to be. I am now a NICU nurse because I am so grateful for the care that Isabella received. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.”
March for Babies participants can meet the Boccasiles and hear their story at March for Babies at Rentschler Field in East Hartford on Sunday, May 6. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the 3-mile walk kicking off at 10 a.m. To register for the event, visit marchforbabies.org or marchofdimes.com/ct.
Funds raised by March for Babies in Connecticut help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies.
Greater Hartford March for Babies is proudly sponsored by Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Pullman and Comley LLC; Updike, Kelly and Spellacy, PC; Webster Bank; Baldwin Enterprises; Bob Discount Furniture; Clear Channel Radio; Connecticut Parent Magazine; and Lamar. Statewide sponsors include NBC Connecticut and Comcast.
The March of Dimes no. 1 corporate supporter Kmart, Farmers Insurance Group, Cigna, Famous Footwear, Sanofi Pasteur, FedEx, Mission Pharmacal, Watson Pharmaceuticals, First Response and United Airlines, sponsors the March for Babies nationally.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find the March of Dimes on Facebook and follow the organization on Twitter.